What are public adjuster bonds?
A public adjuster bond (also called an insurance adjuster bond) is a legally binding contract that holds adjusters accountable to state laws and regulations applicable to their industry. Many states require those applying for a public adjuster license to post this bond.
Get Your Public Adjuster Bond:
- A public adjuster bond holds insurance adjusters accountable to state laws and regulations governing their industry.
- Most states require adjusters to be licensed and bonded. Check with your licensing authority to determine whether you must obtain a bond as part of the licensing process.
- The cost of your bond will depend on your state’s requirements.
Insurance Adjuster Definition
An insurance adjuster investigates claims of property damage or personal injury to determine how much an insurance company should cover for the loss. They may inspect businesses, homes, or automobiles, interview individuals involved, and do additional research to build accurate reports. Reports are created from statements, photos, videos, and more for claims examiners to review.
Once an adjuster submits a report, an examiner must approve the claim. Then the adjuster will work with a policyholder until the claim is settled. They may need to also work with expert witnesses and attorneys if a claimant contests the outcome of the settlement or claim. Learn more.
Independent Insurance Adjusters vs. Public Insurance Adjusters
Insurance companies hire independent insurance adjusters to represent them in claim situations and act in their best interests.
Public insurance adjusters are hired by claimants to act in their best interests (i.e., to get as much money as possible from an insurance company). That way, claimants don’t have to rely solely on their insurance company’s adjuster. Public adjusters receive a percentage of the settled claim as payment.
Who needs a public adjuster bond?
Most states require adjusters to be licensed and bonded. A few exceptions include Alaska, Alabama, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. These states currently don’t recognize public adjusters. You may need multiple bonds and licenses if you operate your business in more than one state.
Check with your licensing authority to determine whether you must obtain a bond as part of the licensing process. They will inform you of your specific requirements. You can also contact ZipBonds by calling 888-435-4191. We’d be happy to identify state or local bond requirements for you.
How do public adjuster bonds work?
A public adjuster bond is a three-party agreement between an obligee, a principal, and a surety.
- Obligee: The state agency that requires the adjuster to post the bond
- Principal: The public adjuster that purchases the bond and must abide by its terms
- Surety: The financial company that guarantees the bond (by promising to back it financially in case of claims)
Frequently Asked Questions
The cost of your bond will depend on your state’s requirements. You will pay a small percentage (as little as 1%) of the total bond amount required to obtain your bond. For example, if you live in New York and need a $1,000 bond, you could get bonded for $100. In Florida, the bond requirement is $50,000, so you might pay closer to $500.
Generally, the better your credit score, the lower your bond premium will be. You must renew your bond regularly for it to remain active and to keep your state license. Using the New York example, you’d need to renew your bond every even year by December 31.
You can often still get the bond you need for a higher premium if you have a low credit score.
Surety bonds protect those who may suffer financially if you break the law or act unethically in your job. If someone files a claim on your bond, your surety will investigate to determine if it’s valid or not. If it is, you’ll have to pay to cover the costs involved – up to the total bond amount. Your surety can cover these costs for you upfront but will hold you responsible for full repayment.
Not only can claims be costly, but they can damage your company’s reputation and make it difficult to get bonded again.
The process of getting your insurance adjuster license will vary from state to state, but here are the general steps you should take:
- Complete the proper pre-licensing education.
- Pass an exam.
- Get your insurance adjuster bond.
- Complete and submit your license application.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics outlines the licensing process for claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators in more detail.
How to Get a Public Adjuster Bond in Your State
ZipBonds offers the fastest and most secure option for getting license and permit bonds. Our all-digital platform is intuitive and straightforward. Apply online or call us at (888) 435-4191 to speak with an agent directly.
Founders Ryan Swalve and Zach Mefferd formed the vision for ZipBonds.com when they realized how overly complicated it was to help clients place surety. The frustration of being unable to incorporate the technology they’d used in other insurance-focused projects left them thinking “there has to be a better way.”
Fast forward a couple of years, and that better way is the impetus of everything we do at ZipBonds. We constantly look for innovative ways to improve the bonding process for our clients and agents. Our team comprises individuals who understand all angles of surety – for companies, agencies, and individuals. Incorporating everyone’s point of view to improve the process while simultaneously integrating cutting-edge technology is what sets our business apart.